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  • Accelerates data transfers between systems (from 2 days to 30 minutes) 
  • Enables in-house control of integration architecture with ease of use
  • Mitigates data duplications and errors

Use Case

  • Automates identity provisioning processes for staff and students

Why Jitterbit?

“Our adoption of Jitterbit has exceeded our expectations – it has allowed us to take control and remove the need for expensive external development help, and to be more agile in responding to business needs.”

Niels Joncheere, Technical Team Lead and Software Architect, Vrije Universiteit Brussel

EMEA | Higher Education

Leading Belgian Research University VUB Uses Jitterbit’s Harmony to Consolidate and Speed Up Integrations

With the power of iPaaS, Vrije Universiteit Brussel accelerates integrations, modernizes its infrastructure, and improves operational efficiency.


Harnessing an ESB for its integrations was becoming too costly, time-consuming, and challenging

Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) is a Dutch and English-speaking research university located across two campuses in Brussels, Belgium. Founded on the principles of free enquiry and reason, the university bears the Latin motto “Scientia Vincere Tenebras,” or ‘science will conquer the darkness.’ Today, VUB is home to 20,000 students, nearly a quarter of them from abroad, who are engaged in building their future and that of the world. With top-quality scientific research and customized education, VUB makes an active and engaged contribution to a better and more sustainable society.

Employing an aging Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) for its integrations, VUB found it increasingly difficult to maintain existing integrations and to quickly develop the new integrations that evolving business needs demanded.

In particular, VUB, like all universities, has a number of data-intensive processes that it manages, including one of its most challenging — the identity provisioning of its staff and students. Within the university, there are multiple potential sources of new identities: students, for example, are originally created in the Student Information System (SIS), while staff members, depending on where they worked within VUB, were either created by the university’s HR system, or in the university hospital systems.

VUB needs each of these systems to be connected to their single Identity & Access Management (IAM) system, where identities are consolidated and access rights assigned, eventually connecting with the university systems where students and staff perform their work.


Jitterbit’s Harmony iPaaS was selected for its ease of use, flexibility, and scalable integration capabilities

After intense research into a modern integration solution that could address both its current needs and its future ones, VUB selected Jitterbit’s Harmony for flexibility, ease of use, and its ability to build integrations on-premise, on the cloud, or both. As a first step after selecting Jitterbit, VUB re-implemented the provisioning of student and staff identities between its systems.

When migrating to Jitterbit Harmony, VUB deliberately chose to redesign these identity data flows as more robust and efficient incremental flows, which run continuously throughout the day. To allow Jitterbit to extract data from or send data to legacy systems that do not offer their own REST API, the university has built custom REST APIs in front of those systems. Three scheduled Jitterbit operations now take care of incrementally sending identities from the three source systems to the IAM system, and another scheduled Jitterbit operation takes care of sending consolidated identities from the IAM system to the other systems of the organization.


  • A number of integrations were running on a lumbering enterprise service bus (ESB) that performed slow, file-based batch transfers of data. Data transfers would take up to two days because it was a batch process that only ran once a night. More often, changes were only reflected in the other systems after two days had passed. If the data was inaccurate, this process would take even longer.
  • Integration logic was spread out over different systems and was not clearly defined in specific integration flows, making it hard for VUB to maintain or change.
  • VUB was reliant on the help of expensive external development partners to maintain and make changes to integrations.
  • It was difficult for VUB to quickly develop any new integrations that emerging business needs demanded. This led to no new development of integration.


  • Data transfers are faster. VUB’s Course Registrations previously took up to two days between performing the action of enrolling, and seeing that action reflected in other systems, such as the LMS. Student enrollment in the SIS is reflected much faster – the process now takes just 30 minutes. 
  • The new system avoids mistakes being duplicated and makes it easier to correct them.
  • Improved integration architecture, including moving to API-based incremental flows. VUB developed 10/15 APIs through Jitterbit that can now be used by other systems.
  • VUB now has an in-house development team that succeeds in maintaining existing integrations and developing new integrations quickly, on top of their regular development work. VUB is now able to measure integration activity – including the time between the asking, when the requirements are clear and when it is delivered.


Faster data transfers, in-house integration control, and a more robust infrastructure transform operations for VUB

Using Jitterbit, VUB has successfully constructed more robust and high-performing data provisioning processes. These processes are not only easily maintained, but can also be extended as new requirements emerge. Additionally, VUB has transferred the responsibility for its integration implementations (20 in total) to its in-house development team, empowering VUB to exercise full control over their data infrastructure. This transition has streamlined the handling of both existing integrations and the development of new ones, aligning them with the standard non-integration development procedures.

VUB has already implemented changes in their payroll and finance systems and is poised to revamp all interfaces while integrating multiple systems. Their operations team now efficiently maintains the on-premise Jitterbit agents, which is a far less demanding task compared to the previous upkeep of the phased-out ESB, after successfully re-implementing their integrations using Jitterbit.

With Jitterbit, VUB has also improved integration architecture, enabled in-house development teams to easily maintain or change existing integrations, and to develop new integrations that evolving business needs demand – removing the need for expensive external integration development. Since automating data intensive processes, student enrollment in the Student Information System (SIS) is reflected much faster in systems such as the Learning Management System (LMS).

“As a university which has over the last decades experienced linear growth from 8,000 to 20,000 students, we needed a modern solution that would allow us to easily maintain our existing integrations and allow us to respond more quickly to new ones. Our adoption of Jitterbit has exceeded our expectations – it has allowed us to take control and remove the need for expensive external development help, and to be more agile in responding to business needs.”

– Niels Joncheere, Technical Team Lead and Software Architect, Vrije Universiteit Brussel

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